Saturday, 30 July 2011

"Blitzkrieging" my garden armies

Hello friends, long time no see.

Unfortunately I have been facing internet complications because I have just recently moved to a new house. I am to be fully active after the 3rd of August, but I have been missing loads of the posting activity. Today I decided to come here just to make you aware of these complications and to express my full commitment to proceed uploading relevant/pertinent toxicology information, regardless.

However, due to recent events that took me to the Queens Medical Center emergency room I thought of just providing a brief summary on Biopesticides, direct information, their actions, products available, and so forth. The thing is that a bloody insect from my brand new garden bit me really bad all over the body when I was sleeping, my hands and arms got so swollen that I had to visit the hospital for a strong anti-histame tablet. Nothing major, but very important when considering that I haven't been able to find any free time these days and I personally dislike visiting hospitals (the waiting, the smell, the unfortunate people, all together freaks me out a little). I am still planning to wear my gloves and go all Tomb Raider on my garden cutting the unwanted herbs and evicting more than 83 spiders and other insects I have counted in my shed and garden altogether. But before getting all industrial on these little animals and poisoning my garden with abrasives and toxic weapons, I decided to read through on the web in order to find something I could use as a good home-made biopesticide. Then, when I shower their little armies with my Blitzkrieg I will be able to concentrate on my further plans of developing a perfect Chelsea Flower Festival Garden to celebrate my new home! This is the goal, now the question is, how to accomplish it? I better start with the basics and then proceed to the formulaic interrogation then.

What are Biopesticides? [1]

Biopesticides are certain types of pesticides derived from such natural materials as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals. Biopesticides fall into three major classes:
  1. Microbial pesticides consist of a microorganism as the active ingredient. The most widely used microbial pesticides are subspecies and strains of Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. Each strain of this bacterium produces a different mix of proteins, and specifically kills one or a few related species of insect larvae. The target insect species are determined by whether the particular Bt produces a protein that can bind to a larval gut receptor, thereby causing the insect larvae to starve.
  2. Plant-Incorporated-Protectants are pesticidal substances that plants produce from genetic material that has been added to the plant.
  3. Biochemical pesticides are naturally occurring substances that control pests by non-toxic mechanisms. 

    What are the advantages of using biopesticides? [1]

    Biopesticides are usually inherently less toxic than conventional pesticides, generally affect only the target pest and closely related organisms, in contrast to broad spectrum, conventional pesticides that may affect organisms as different as birds, insects, and mammals. B
    iopesticides are often [both] effective in very small quantities and decompose quickly.

    Make Your Own Homemade Pesticides and Repellants [2]

    Pesticide Recipes

    The key to repelling pests from your garden or plants is make them have an appalling taste or something to kill the pests without harming the plants. A key ingredient to many homemade pesticides is soap and strong tasting products like garlic and peppers. The following recipes will keep most pests off of your plants:

    Oil Mixture

    • 1 cup cooking oil ( i.e. canola or vegetable )
    • 1 tablespoon liquid dishwashing soap (with no additional additives like antibacterial ingredients)
    • Use 2 ½ teaspoons of this mixture in 1 cup of water
    Spray on the surface and underside of leaves to coat insects in various stages of development.

    Soap Mixture

    • A few teaspoons of liquid dishwashing soap (again, with no additinal additives)
    • 1 gallon of water
    Spray on the surface and underside of infested foliage. The soap acts to paralyze insects, which prevents them from feeding. The pests eventually die of starvation. For heavy infestations spray every 2 to 3 days for 2 weeks.
    This is a very generic mixture that can fight off most any insects. Make sure to use a light liquid soap here as well to ensure not to kill your plants.

    Garlic/Pepper Mixture

    • 1/2 cup hot peppers of your choice
    • 1/2 cup garlic cloves ( onions will also do )
    • 2 cups water
    Steep this mixture for 24 hours. An easy method for steeping the tea is to combine the ingredients in a clear glass jar, seal, and set in a sunny location. Strain and spray onto foliage.
    Homemade Pesticide For Snails and Slugs [3]
    Diatomaceous earth is a powder-like dust made of tiny marine organisms called diatoms. It is effective on soft-bodied insects as well as snails and slugs. Just spread it on top of the soil and it works by cutting and irritating these soft organisms yet is harmless to other organisms. You can also put out shallow dishes of beer to trap snails and slugs.
    To Keep Bugs Away From Houseplants [3]
    This is the safest natural pesticide for any home gardener and is effective on a variety of bugs and insects. Mix 3 tablespoons of liquid detergent into a gallon of water. Use in a sprayer bottle for houseplants.
    Another Bugs Away From Houseplants Mix [3]
    To keep bugs away from houseplants, mix 1 clove garlic, 1 small hot pepper and 1 quart water in a blender. Pour into a spray bottle and apply to plants. Putting hot sauce on a cotton ball in a house plant pot will also repel pests.
    Cabbage worms and Spider Mites Mix [3]
    For garden pests like cabbage worms and spider mites, mix 2 tablespoons of salt in 1 gallon of water and use in a sprayer bottle.
    To Control Garden Pests [3]
    Gather together a collection of dead bugs, crush them up and mix with water. Strain the mix until it will come out of a spray bottle. Only use this mix outside.
    Spearmint Hot Pepper Horseradish Spray [3]
    This is effective on many different kinds of outside bugs and insects and should be an outside spray.
    1/4 cup of hot red peppers
    1/2 gallon water
    1/4 cup of fresh spearmint
    1/4 cup horseradish, both root and leaves
    1 tablespoons of liquid detergent
    1/4 cup green onion tops
    Mix the spearmint leaves, horseradish, onion tops and peppers together with enough water to cover everything. Then strain the solution. Add a half-gallon of water and the detergent. You can use this to spray almost any plant safely. Store the mixture for a few days in a cool place.
    Natural Pesticide for Aphids and Whiteflies [3]
    Mix a few drops of dishwashing detergent with water and spray on plants leaves. This is extremely effective in controlling many soft-bodied insects such as aphids and whiteflies.
    Homemade Pesticide For Roses [3]
    In your blender make a solution of leaves from a tomato plant 4 pints of water and a tablespoon of cornstarch. Strain the mix and spray on roses as a natural pesticide. Keep any unused spray refrigerated.
    Natural pesticides can work well for any home gardener and are much safer for you and your family. After you try a few of these recipes you'll understand that they really work.
    For those who are looking for a more in-depth article with plenty of biochemical information on volatile organic compounds (also covered in this blog a few weeks ago) used as biopesticides, please access here. You will find a review on prospects of essential oils of biopesticide in insect-pest management (an article by Tripathi et al., 2009).
    That's it for today folks, mates, buddies, blokes. I will test most of these recipes and will report soon to inform you on the success in fighting my garden pests. Stay tuned and if possible, comment. Thanks for all of those visiting the blog even when I stopped updating these last two weeks. And I haven't forgotten the sheesha article. For now, just take a look at the video below concerning the homemade preparation of Jholmol (a biopestide and a biofertilizer developed by SECARD Nepal, a non-profitable NGO).

    [1] Environmental protection Agency, United States;, last visited on the 30th of July 2011, last update on the 16th of February 2011

    [2] Pays to live green,, last visited on the 30th of July 2011, last update unknown.

    [3] Homemade Pesticides Recipes,, last visited on the 30th of July 2011, last update on the 23rd of September, 2006.

    2nd image taken from Pesticides Alternative Laboratory,, last visited on the 30th of July 2011, last updated on February 2009.

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